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chris phillips -
Subject: To Elijah D
Definitely up there, but do compare 5/19/77 Playing jam, 9/2/78 set 2, 9/6/80 and 9/11/81.
Subject: Might be might not
...the best ever, but if I were to pick a concert I'd play for a musician who 'doesn't like the Dead', from what I've heard this would be it. Anyone got a better choice, I'd love to hear...
Milli Fungus -
Subject: When Phil is feelin it, magic happens
This show is so good, which everybody that has listened or is going to listen knows. But what I wanted to point out is that after Must Have Been the Roses, Phil comes on the mic and says "I just want all of you to know, that this is the happiest day of my life". And then that magnificent Let it Grow happens. So basically what I am trying to say is when Phil is feelin it, it's going to be good.
God I love the Dead.
check out this website, its how I got pointed in the direction of this show. www.gratefuldeadprojects.com
happy lurking and listening!!!!!!
Subject: holy ...
how have i never heard this show before? i have been listening to the dead for over 20 years and somehow missed this one. its fast become one of my favorites. just goes to show you can still always find something new from the dead.
Subject: Absolutely amazing
Any fan of 77 (and who isn't?) could predict that this second set is going to be fantastic before hearing it. What took me by surprise was the tight, heavily energized first set. Jerry was in perfect form from Might as Well onward. As if Bobby was trying to one-up him, he unleashes a absolutely superb Let it Grow to end the set.
Oh yeah... that second is set is equally incredible.
More Charlie Miller sound magic as well makes this as close to a perfect show as you're likely to find.
Subject: a gem
One of the most underrated shows of 77. Two very strong sets. Might As Well, Must Have Been The Roses and Let It Grow stand out the most. Let It Grow is a masterpiece in itself. The magic continues for the second set. One of my favorite versions of Eyes Of The World. Jerry and Phil both got the slow groove goin nice. Both of them are just spittin out guitar & bass licks that sound incredible. St. Stephen starts off at a nice slow pace and by the end they've picked it up full steam. The space jam and Drums/bass jam are somewhat of a treat for a 77 show. Not Fade Away is hot like usual and leads into a beautiful Black Peter. One of my top 10 all time favorite shows.
Subject: not that anyone gives a rats ass, but...
i have always loved the fact that this great show occurred at my alma mater. i'm not even that big a '77 fan these days, and i really dig this, so i guess that should tell you something...
Subject: GRATE SHOW!!!!
This is an absolute GEM! Sound quality is superb. Grate playing throughout. The "eyes" sounds amazing. I love the aud patch thats in the eyes. Its like I am at the show on the floor, and I get up and go into the hall or another room of the venue. The echos...
Next night is up to par as well. (~);}
Subject: Oh What a Year!
My Real introduction to the band, 1977. Winterland, the spring. only 16 at the time. This show absolutely rips. Can't remember much about the shows i was at in the mid 70's, but know that it is my favorite time for the band.
Friend of the Devil just perfect here, and St. Stephen is rockin as well. As one reviewer put it, Jerry comes out with Might as Well, and says, "put on your dancin shoes! we're rockin tonight!!"...enjoy, amazing quality to this recording...20 stars
Subject: St. Stephen pretty fricken GOOD ALSO!
And its my BIRTHDAY no wonder they played amazing version of my favorite songs. Well shit they are all good, I swear when you hear the bass clear it doesn't even resemble any music I have ever listened to before.
Subject: Best show I ever saw
This was the best show I ever attended. Jerry and Donna were walking around campus before the show looking happy and content.
The story I heard (from someone in the student association) was that the tickets were set at $12.50. The Dead came into town and said that they would not play at that price but would be happy to play if the ticket prices were lowered to $7.50. The box office closed (this was the day before) and reopened the day of the show with new tickets.
I was in the top row of the bleachers...as far away from the stage as possible. They were rocking so hard that I reached up to make sure I could hang on to the rafters in case the bleachers collapsed.
At the beginning of every set I heard from then on--hundreds--I would yell out "Might As Well!" Never heard it again.
Talked with Dick years later and suggested this show. He told me later that he couldn't find recording that was good enough to release.
I once had an opportunity to ask Phil what was going on in 1977. He knew just what I was asking. He said he didn't know why, but agreed that 1977 had the best shows.
Subject: Very Nice, Indeed!
Why isn't this a Dick's Pick? Simply Awesome. That jam into St. Stephen is amazing. I have an old cassette version of this. Nice to see it here!
Subject: Just exactly right
This is one of those shows that is flawless. Hard to say if it's the bet ever, but I sure would have loved to have been there. Every song is played with intensity, fun setlist - they come rockin out the gate with Might As Well right into a killer version of J Straw. Other highlights are Let It Grow and pretty much the entire 2nd set.
Essential listening IMO and vintage late 77.
Wonderful both in performance and sound quality. Thanks Charlie.
Subject: I find it hard not to agree with grendelschoice
I've always loved this show, but the gaps in the other version would get a little annoying, but now there's absoulutely nothing to complain about. Amazing sound, just an all around perfect show, with a scorching 2nd set that's one of the best of '77. Estimated>Eyes>Space>St. Stephen>Drums/Bass>NFA>Black Peter>Sugar Mag, played to perfection.....ummm wow. This show's definitely a top 10-er for the year, and it's in my personal top 5, along with 5/8, 5/21, 6/9, and 10/11. Get this now!
Charlie Miller is the shiz-nite!
Cliff Hucker -
Subject: 100 points club?
I too rather enjoy Keith's harpsichord sound. In a year where virtually every show sounds precisely like any other, regardless of the set list, and jamming is practically non-existent, subtle differences are refreshing. Especially since its difficult to listen to any show from 1977 without getting bored after about fifteen minutes.
I've always felt the May '77 shows are uniformly much better than those in the fall, but this show is the exception. (99 pts)
Star Struck Lunatic -
Subject: Keith's Keyboard Tone In Estimated
I read that somebody didn't like it and they said it was the worst. So I came right over to check it out for myself. I clicked Estimated, and about two minutes in, I notice the harpsichord style. I think to myself, hmm, do I hate this? As I'm trying to figure it out, I notice that everybody is playing really good and at 3:46 my head blew off my body like a bottle-rocket.
Subject: One fan's opinion: Best Show Ever
Yep. Uh-huh. This is it.
Charlie Miller comes through again with a very essential upgrade to what this head feels is the Greatest Dead Show Ever Played. I expect no one to actually share that opinion, but I will lay out the case nevertheless.
First, it's 1977, and the band is charging towards the end of their greatest year like a dam burst forth. May '77 has the best collective run of shows to be sure, with nary a clunker anywhere, but if you want that extra charge, that hard-driving rock & roll edge to go along with the perfect flow and practically ESP-like melding of minds that marked the May run, you need to dip your toes into the fall tour.
And this show is the one that rules above all.
We begin with Jerry charging out of the gate with a vocal rendering of MIGHT AS WELL that says "Hey, I'm here for some serious fun. You'd better be too." Flawless rendition (as is virtually every song on this night), and the rest of the gang joins in on the flurry of chorus repeats at the end.
A scintillating JACK STRAW follows. Note if you will Bobby's own vocal commitment (perhaps not to be outdone by Jerry on the opener) when he holds the note on "...not with aaaaaaaaalllllll." This is followed by simply the best bridge into "Jack Straw from Witchita" these ears have ever heard. Yes, there are longer jams, but I would argue none better in this version in terms of intensity, build up, and picture-perfect touch-down into that final verse. Not a note wasted and each one infused with runaway energy.
DIRE WOLF fans...standard greatness here.
LLR...My one complaint with this show, but only because I hate this song. Fans of it tell me this version is terrific, so if you fall in that category, you're all set.
LOSER, EL PASO, RAMBLE, MINGLEWOOD, ROSES...all flawlessly rendered, great gritty guitar from Jerry...it's standardly wonderful '77 fare.
LET IT GROW. Hang on, this is where things start to get hairy. Garcia rips it up, throwing in liberal hints of "Spanish Jam" and other fuzz-guitar madness...it all holds together under Bob's impassioned vocals and Donna does not get in the way. If not for 5/1/81 I'd call this the all-time best version. It certainly ranks in the Top 5.
BERTHA. Oh, this Bertha. I hardly know where to start, but at the beginning: Listen to how Phil drops his bass notes one after the other in the opening notes, and how when he gets to the end it all rolls into one as the rest of the band jumps in at exactly the right moment to bring the chords into focus. The Garcia jams during the bridge reach new heights every time I listen...I simply cannot fathom how he was able to rip such ever-climbing notes into a coherent symphony of sound. It then passes seamlessly into an extraordinary GOOD LOVIN', also featuring rolling Phil bass lines and more monster jams by Jerry.
FRIEND OF THE DEVIL. Just exactly perfect and Phil booms his bass at all the peak moments.
ESTIMATED is a Jerry Wah-Wah fest of the highest order...there are spacey elements to the post-lyrics jam that will mesmerize the mind, bringing us to a phenomenal, epic, jaw-dropping EYES OF THE WORLD. In the intro before a word is sung, we have Jerry channeling his inner Wes Montgomery. This is jazz guitar meshing perfectly in this Rock & Roll band. Note the ease and flow which marks this intro...nothing rushed; a beautiful up and down and all around journey that sets the tone, with almost no hint of the fury to come...It's lovingly sung...no flubs...and then we get the first jam break as Garcia teases with a crescendo that finishes perhaps a tad earlier then we expect...but it's a set-up for the next instrumental break, which busts open the gut of rock, jazz, psychedelia and more...Garcia rises, falls, rises again, and crashes it all down with band in tow into a frenzy of musical ecstasy that defines what the Grateful Dead were and what they meant to their fans. And then he steps up and sings "Sometimes we live no particular way but our own", and we know exactly what he means.
Had enough? Please. A short SPACE,and it's time for a ST STEPHEN of raw blues power. Blues? Really? Hear for yourself. Listen to the oprning and tell me Garcia hasn't turned this late 60's acid tune into a gritty blues number. And it just takes off from there. Hard crashing drumming (it's at this point in the show that Mickey and Billy REALLY start to assert themselves), and again, flawless stuff charging headlong into a brief drumming stint and then a NOT FADE AWAY that rocks the house hard.
No wonder they had to bring it down a notch for a melancholy BLACK PETER. Except, ummm....no. This PETER is focused and intense and by the time Jerry implores all to "Come run and seeeee..." we're all wailing at the wall of a tortured soul.
But Bobby refuses to end the night on a down note, and Mickey and Billy have their own plans for a scorching SUGAR MAG. (Caveat: Most SBD versions feature an edited version--expertly done, but an edit still...we jump right from verse one to "Sometimes when the cuckoo's cryin'") but that should not deter you.
*** And, as it turns out, this excellent Miller upgrade includes a patch so you get the FULL Magnolia. Accept nothing less.***
This just jams and wails and rocks and if that wasn't enough the rhythm devils go ballistic on an impromptu drum roll at the end--neither one wanting to be the last to beat the skins...by the time SSDD begins, you can actually hear Weir laughing at what they've done. They've given it their all, and the SSDD keeps a movin'.
A lot of SBDs don't contain the SAT. NIGHT encore. (This one does). But I could care less. If you're not breathless by the end of this masterpiece you're hard to impress.
This incredible show should be enshrined in history. It is my favorite Dead show of all time, and even if you do not agree, I am willing to bet dollars to Dead Donuts it will fall somewhere in your Top 10.
Subject: Best, Worst, Most, Least....
Here's the beauty of a Dead show, for someone, any given show is the best of their lives. You can bet that dozens of people, maybe even hundreds, hold this one as their all-time favorite. And it's a great show. The best of '77? Who can argue against it? Certainly not I. This here's a beauty, apart from the glitches, it's almost pefect, and yes, that Jack Straw bridge is smokin', and the Black Peter is sublime. But for me it's an A-, maybe even a B+. Why? Who the heck knows. A certain time, a certain place, a certain mood, you get what you bring. Right? It's silly to compare shows on this remarkable run. I'd sell a kidney to go back to this one but I sure am Grateful it's here for me now.